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Cross-linguistic categorization of benefactives by event structure

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Abstract

The first of its kind, this study classifies the semantics of benefactive constructions from over sixty languages according to event structure types, identifying two basic types. The “agentive benefactive” construction, always includes an agent and expresses that the agent intentionally carries out the act for the sake of the affectee. The “event benefactive” construction, on the other hand, expresses that the affecting event may or may not have an agent, and includes windfall situations. The subtypes of the agentive benefactive are: “unrestricted agentive benefactive” (agent can be anybody), “non-self-benefactive” (agent is not an affectee), “selfbenefactive” (agent and affectee are identical), and “shared-benefit construction” (which expresses that ‘X does something for the benefit of X himself and Y’).

References

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